Murfreesboro’s Fire & Rescue and Police Departments conducted a mock drill at the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport located at 1930 Memorial Boulevard around 8:30 Monday morning.
The airport is closed until August 23 due to an extension of the runway and runway resurfacing. “We saw the airport closure as an opportunity for our personnel on all three shifts at Station 6 to get in some training with responding to a downed aircraft,” said Shift Commander Tim Swann. Station 6, located on Memorial Boulevard, houses Ladder 6 which is the first responding unit to calls at the airport.
The drill simulated fire and police response to an “after hours” airplane crash involving two Cessna airplanes.
Fire crews were staged at a parking lot near Sports Com and dispatched in staggered times to make their response more realistic. MPD officers were responsible for traffic control, monitoring all entrances to the airport, and opening the gates for fire apparatus.
Ladder 6 was the first on scene to discover two downed Cessna planes with heavy smoke exiting. The crew jumped into action and sprayed a foam layer on the first aircraft so they could “extinguish the fire” and cool it down before rescuing the victim inside.
Other responding units were sent to the second downed aircraft approximately 200 feet from the first. The second plane also had a victim inside. Crews immediately began spraying foam as well to create a cooler barrier for victim rescue. A third victim was discovered lying under debris in the middle of the runway between the two planes. All three victims were recovered from the scene.
Firefighters made sure the “fires” were out and that any possible fuel leaks were contained.
“Overall, I think the drill went well,” said Swann. “We train like this so that we can see what we did right and what areas we can improve upon. Our main goal with this type of training is to make sure our personnel have the tools, knowledge, and practice to execute a safe, professional, and successful response in a real-life situation. We appreciate Airport Director Chad Gehrke and his staff for allowing us to conduct the drill this morning, and look forward to more multi-agency training like this in the future.”